Tips for Small Business Owners Shopping for Health Insurance

December 9, 2008

When going into business on your own, it is hard to look past the
overhead cost you have just sunk into it. There several other
issues that needs to be on the forefront of your business now. As
you hire people to work for you, what are you going to be able to
offer them? In today’s market employers must offer competitive
wages and benefits to attract and keep good employees. Small
business owners who have less than 20 employees are not required to
provide medical insurance but if you want high quality workers, you
better get it. There is a high demand for small business owners to
provide health care benefits. With the rising cost of medical
treatment, most people cannot afford to not have health insurance
and will gladly leave a job that doesn’t off it. Some people prefer
to have a slightly lower wage than not have benefits. When you
offer your employees benefits that save them long-term money, it
makes them want to stay with you and not go somewhere else.

The new trend in the job market is that the low-wage hourly
workers, the people most like to be uninsured, are now being
offered medical plans in their budget ranges. Small restaurant
owners, day care providers, and other small businesses are
realizing that to get good people to stay, they need to offer them
an incentive. Almost all people expect heath benefits today to be
in their benefit packages. This can be costly to you, the small
business owner, because the best group rates are for large
companies with lots of employees. You might find yourself forced to
give a higher premium to your employees, but having the benefit is
better than nothing. Plus even though they pay a higher premium, it
is still much less expensive than a private rate for them. You need
to stay competitive though and not offer something that is truly
different than all other businesses, including large ones. If the
overall cost to the employee is so high, then they might just
decide to go work somewhere else.

Find out what your employees need the most and purchase plans that
fulfill those needs and not a bunch of things they are not
interested in. Most basic plans can cover routine doctor visits,
sick visits, hospitalizations, medications, and emergencies and
still be a reasonable price. You might want to look at what larger
companies offer and see if you can make some of that work for you
and your employees. The playing field is not fair for the small
business owners; premiums are higher and more expensive than for
larger places. But there are many ways to get a good package that
is still reasonable in cost. Make sure you know what types of
coverage is mandatory and what is not. Some states have
requirements on such things like fertility treatments that even
though your employees might not need are a necessity. These types
of necessities are what make it so hard for the small business
owner to provide affordable health coverage.

Don’t despair, there is still hope. There’s no question about it
that small businesses are in a tough spot. You are not powerless
though by any means. There are several options including having the
employee pay more of their own premium, having higher co-pays for
employees, making sure you have an HMO verses a PPO, and also
having the plans be just for the employee rather than offering a
family plan. You can also save money in what type of prescription
drug plan you are going to offer. Many doctors are offering more
medical treatments for correcting diseases and disorders verses
more costly invasive procedures. With higher drug costs and most of
that cost having to be passed to the employee, it might be better
to offer a drug plan then to have that included in the health
package. The employee will pay a very small premium for this
benefit and save 50% or more on their prescriptions. If you decide
to include prescriptions in your over all plan, think about having
higher co-pay at the pharmacy. So, instead of a smaller $5-$10
co-pay you might have it raised to $20-$30 to save money on the
monthly premium.

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and informational
purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for
professional advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed Insurance
Agent or Broker with any questions you may have regarding any
Insurance Matter.

Tips for Small Business Owners Shopping for Health Insurance

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Stay Healthy and Keep your Insurance Premiums Down

December 4, 2008



Stay healthy, so you can switch plans. All health insurance plans
have rate increases, and you have even seen premiums jump on some
HSA plans. If a rate increase happens to you, you can switch to a
different insurance company – but only if you pass their
underwriting requirements. If chronic disease develops, you may be
stuck with your current plan, and its accompanying rate increases,
for eternity. Or at least it may seem that long. If you pay
attention to the pharmaceutical commercials, you learn lifestyle
really has nothing to do with disease, and it is natural and
healthy to be on many medications for the rest of your life, which
will then solve your health problems. If you pay attention to the
science, you know the truth is quite different. It appears
lifestyle is probably 95% of the picture, and you know the
occurrence of degenerative disease can be dramatically reduced and
even prevented.

Fortunately, many customers are interested in wellness, and disease
prevention. After all, they’re paying for their own doctor visits
if they do get sick. It is because HSA owners are “forward
thinking” people, and like to plan for their future – both
financial and physical. You can improve your odds of excellent
health with just a few key habits: Eat very high quantities of
fresh vegetables and fruits. Shoot for 35% of your calories. This
will lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart
disease, cancer, and more. Limit your intake of sugar and starchy
carbohydrates like bread and pasta. The majority of health problems
in the U.S. are related to metabolic diseases that involve insulin
resistance. Exercise and lift weights. Exercise guru Jack La Lanne
just turned 92 on September 26, and he says if you have muscles you
never feel old.

Life Quote Is About Life. Better Health Means Lower Insurance
Rates. Most people get nervous about their health and how it can
affect their insurance rates. Your health is key in how much you’ll
pay for Life Insurance.

Life Insurance Facts:

Cigarette smokers pay at least double the premium for life
insurance than non-smokers. People, who are overweight, have high
blood pressure or high cholesterol could pay more for life
insurance. A family history of heart disease, cancer, stroke,
diabetes or other chronic diseases will make your insurance rates
increase. Having chronic diseases yourself can increase your Life
Insurance Premiums.

Life Insurance companies classify people by different categories
that essentially determine their risk of dying. The best category
and lowest price is “Super Preferred”, followed by “Preferred.”
Prices keep rising with “Standard” and “Special Class”. To be
honest, only the healthiest people in America are rated Super
Preferred. The average person will qualify for a standard rate. The
classifications vary from company to company the point is you do
have control over lifestyle choices that can hurt your health. You
should take a proactive approach and work at staying healthy, at
the gym and at the doctors’ office. Insurance companies will reward
you for it! Which is why it’s a good idea to shop around.

Tips to Improve your Insurance Health:

Regular medical treatments to monitor and stabilize chronic
diseases can influence insurance companies to offer you reasonable
rates. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke are no longer
uninsurable conditions. Insurance companies just want to see proof
that you’re improving your health. Lowering your weight and
controlling your cholesterol or blood pressure with a low fat diet,
regular exercise or medicines can result in a reduction in
insurance premiums. You can’t change your family’s medical history
but you can certainly take care of your own with regular check-ups
and by practicing healthy habits. Your clean bill of health counts
with insurance companies too. If you smoke, the surgeon general
says quit. Insurance companies judge smoking as a critical risk
factor in determining your premium. Do yourself a favor kick the
habit. For your life, as well as your life insurance.

If you quit smoking now, your rates will drop significantly if you
re-submit your “healthier” non-smoker status to insurance companies
a year later. If this doesn’t motivate you who knows what will. How
about saving some money on your life insurance policy? If you end
up paying more, don’t get mad at the insurance companies. Get mad
at yourself! For lifestyle tips and medical information to get you
started, check out some of the leaders in the business of making
you healthy–your doctor!

Stay Healthy and Keep your Insurance Premiums Down

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and informational
purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for
professional advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed Insurance
Agent or Broker with any questions you may have regarding any
Insurance Matter.